Keep it Down: Soundproofing in Australia

Australia can be a little strict when it comes to noise. Different neighbourhoods can have different noise regulations, but most will have restrictions on loud music, use of power tools, vehicle exhaust noise and even dogs barking. However, you can still make as much noise as you want — as long as you keep it inside the house.

Drape Up

If you have large windows, you’ll need soundproof curtains when you’re hosting late-night parties. Soundproof curtains are easy to set up, and you can bring them out before the big day to make sure the neighbours won’t complain. They are thicker and heavier than your average curtain, with some stacking three or more materials on top of each other. You can even use soundproofing curtains to line up entire walls of a single room to maximise soundproofing and improve acoustics, just in case you want to bang on the drums or shred some guitar.

Break it Down

Slatwall over acoustic felt is an elegant way to give your house a bit of soundproofing. Often used as shelving displays in Australia shops, slatwall panels have gaps that interrupt sound vibrations, making it easier for the acoustic felt to absorb them. In turn, the sound is broken down and absorbed, preventing echoes and improving acoustic quality.

Slatwall also brings character into a room, making it more attractive compared to a traditional flat wall. The vertical and horizontal patterns guide the eye in a particular direction, which you can integrate into the overall design of the room.

engineer looking at laptop

Line Your Walls with Foam

Acoustic foam panels are a sure way to soundproof a room. Of course, lining your whole house with these might look a bit weird, so reserve them for rooms with particularly loud sound systems. You can use these in your home theatre, music room, game room or studio. The panels will give your room a more professional feel, and the noise absorption will provide better acoustics and preserve audio quality.

Double Up

When it comes to soundproofing, two surfaces are better than one. Double up your drywall or plywood and add a layer of Green Glue between the panels. The extra mass and the soundproofing compound dampen the sound by converting vibrations into heat, preventing sounds from leaking out. Of course, the sound will bounce off a flat wall, so this type of soundproofing will do very little to improve acoustics.

Don’t Forget to Insulate

All the soundproofing in the world won’t be useful if there’s an open vent leading outside your house. Make sure your home is sealed tight, and a layer of insulation can add a bit of soundproofing. You can focus your soundproofing on your walls and then install insulation on your ceiling to keep the noise down significantly. On the plus side, proper insulation can cut your utility bills by as much as 30 per cent.

Turn up the volume, but don’t wake the neighbours. Soundproof your home to avoid the complaints as you crank up the volume and enjoy your day without worries.

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